Man Tricks Staff Into Giving Refunds In Chichester

21 May 2014, 15:21 | Updated: 21 May 2014, 15:33

A man tried to trick shop staff into giving them refunds for items he had simply taken off the shelves.

The offender visited shops in Chichester on 2 May, 3 May and 6 May, selected items from the displays and then took them to the counter where he told staff he had bought them days or weeks earlier.

In each case he said a member of his family had cut themselves so badly while opening the packaging that they had gone to hospital to have stitches and that after he had spoken to the company's head office he had been told to go into the shop itself.

On two occasions - at Boots on 2 May and at Cath Kidston on 3 May - the man left empty handed but on the third, at Cargo on 6 May, he was given a refund despite having only picked the item involved off the shelf.

The man police would like to speak to is 45 to 55, 5' 9" to 5' 11" and of average build. He has grey hair and was wearing a blue jacket and rusty or brown trousers.

Response investigator Kym Belding said: 

"The offender is clearly very bold as he is quite brazen about the way he opens packaging in the shop and demands cash from the staff.

"It is possible that he has tried this in other shops in Chichester or other parts of Sussex and I would like to speak to any store staff who have experienced this.

"If you know who the man in the CCTV is or where he could be please contact us so we can speak to him urgently."

Anyone with information should call 101, email or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.